Owning A Dog Makes You Live Longer, Says Science

Posted November 18, 2017

"Lots of people think that nowadays we have poor diversity in microbiomes, and it might be that dogs have a positive effect on this by bringing in dirt and bacteria", Fall said.

Here's to keeping your health on a tight leash: New research suggests that having a dog might boost a single person's life span.

"In this analysis, single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death generally and 11% reduction in risk of heart disease" compared to single people without dogs. The reason? It gets you out into the community - and you're more likely to talk to other dog owners.

The study looked at over 3.4 million Swedish individuals between the ages of 40 and 80 sampled from a national database and the Swedish Twin Register over a 12-year study period.

According to a study of 3.4 million people, dog owners have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

That may be especially important for single folks, said study junior author Mwenya Mubanga, a graduate student at Uppsala.

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While that might be true, there are enough other benefits to dog ownership to make it worth it. Dog owners are shown to be less depressed and make friends easier, according to a recent study. In Sweden, every visit to a hospital is recorded in national databases - while dog ownership registration has been mandatory since 2001.

Dog owners were more likely to be younger than non-owners, Fall and colleagues wrote, and were more likely to live in rural areas. "Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", added Tove Fall, senior author of the study and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University. In the study, Fall analysed the effects of different breeds and found that owners of dogs originally bred for hunting, such as terriers, retrievers, and scent hounds, had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease.

While Bond may not prescribe a dog as treatment for a patient, she said that she will not discourage owning or buying one, or expressing the benefits of owning one. Your care and compassion for pets, especially dogs, can help you stay away from heart diseases.

Experts in the United States agreed that the findings made sense.

Scientists say that at the beginning of the research none of these participants had no health problems, and therefore managed to get a good example of how the appearance of the pet is displayed on the circulatory system and whether the impact on premature death.